Mission, Vision, and Values

Our guiding light

Our Vision

An equitable food system built on a new way of working that values connection, community, and relationships, that unleashes the individual power and agency of diverse food entrepreneurs, and that sustains individuals, families, communities, and our planet.

It's big and bold. And possible!

Our Mission

We’re on a mission to transform the local food economy by strengthening capacity, creating connections, and unleashing the collective power of diverse entrepreneurs to start and grow successful food businesses. 

We challenge all parts of the food system to lead with and live their values—aligning their values with decision making, and harnessing their time, energy, resources, and investments to ensure racial, social, and economic justice. 

Our Values

 How we live itWhat we expect from membersWhat we look for in our partners




  • We create a welcoming, supportive space.
  • We seek to hear all voices in the room.
  • We are transparent; if in doubt, we over-communicate.
  • We meet people where they are.
  • Participation in CWK gatherings, forums, and other forms of community
  • Mutual support
  • Constructive criticisms and appreciations
  • Sourcing, mentoring and partnering with others in the CWK ecosystem
  • Giving back to emerging businesses
  • Mutual support





  • We center POC, women, and immigrant-led businesses, considering accessibility and relevance in all programming decisions.
  • We respect the unique perspective and contributions of each individual.
  • We celebrate culture, acknowledge and appreciate diversity.
  • We bring our whole selves to work.
  • Respect for diverse cultures and heritages
  • Authenticity in branding/marketing
  • Courtesy in sharing facility and resources
  • “Give back” from members with more access
  • Local hiring, hiring those with barriers to workforce entry, fair labor practices
  • Prioritize purchasing from POC, women, and immigrant-led businesses
  • Operate in ways that benefit emerging businesses: decrease margins, issue POs in advance, pay on time, etc.
  • Fair labor practices





  • We are in community with members; teaching and coaching but also learning from them.
  • We are entrepreneurial, open to trying new things, not all of which work out.
  • We accept that learning involves mistakes, but we don’t make the same ones twice.
  • We seek and share feedback.
  • Acknowledgment of the inevitability of change and the challenges it brings
  • Participation in CWK programming
  • Creation of learning opportunities for staff
  • Mentoring, and partnering with others in the CommonWealth Kitchen ecosystem
  • Openness to new ways of doing business (open books, etc.)
  • Willingness to partner, share risks, try new things



  • When we say something, we mean it.
  • When we promise something, we deliver.
  • Care of shared facilities/resources
  • Responsibility for food safety
  • Compliance with all applicable laws/regulations
  • Honesty and transparency in all dealings with CWK and other members
  • Fair dealing
  • Meaningful investment/purchasing, etc.
  • Stewardship of the CommonWealth Kitchen brand
  • Timely payment


  • We consider social, environmental, and financial impacts in our decision-making.
  • Local sourcing
  • Minimizing environmental impacts (e.g., composting, recycling)
  • Local sourcing
  • Minimizing environmental impacts (e.g., composting, recycling)